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Here’s what we’ve learned from virtual conferences and trade shows done so far

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual conferences and trade shows have risen significantly in number. Virtual events are here to stay even in the post-pandemic era. 86% of participants in online meetings exhibit an equal or higher level of engagement similar to in-person meetings. A huge percentage of travellers still plan to avoid big cities, public transport, and gatherings even after the Covid-19 restrictions are removed, making the return of in-person events and conferences slow to rebound. We are thus expecting a new hybrid model of virtual and “live” emerging. 

Virtual Conferences and Trade Shows Are on the Rise

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Businesses, promoters, exhibitors, and event marketing professionals around the globe are championing virtual conference and trade shows for their comparatively low costs and substantial ROI. The ability to receive qualified leads directly from the office without having to incur expensive travel bills is a key factor that makes the virtual trade show so attractive. 

Lower barriers to entry also mean that virtual trade shows can attract more diverse exhibitors and attendees. Businesses have witnessed huge online audiences to share their innovations and services with.

Lessons Learnt from Virtual Conferences & Trade Shows so Far

Realistic Setting

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Nowadays, most events, conferences and trade shows are a blend of physical and digital settings. Physical setting, such as aesthetics and functional aspects, play a great role in showcasing the business in its true sense. With virtual event platforms like Delegate PLAY, this can be achieved in terms of realistic set design, stands, halls, and more. Delegate PLAY’s custom virtual fairgrounds setup with event branding allows businesses to make the best of this trend of hybrid events. 

Establishing Relationships 

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When asked why physical events are valued, many have reported that trade shows facilitate them to develop business-critical relationships. Therefore, instead of focusing on how to make digital proxies of live formats, establishing a relationship with your event attendees is key to any event’s virtualization strategy.

Delegate PLAY’s real-time audience participation and engagement tracking is the best way to analyse the audience’s response and provide timely feedback to recreate relationships. 

Harnessing Data

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At physical events and conferences, you typically get a regular attendance report. On the other hand, for virtual conferences or exhibitions, reporting and analytics monitor all the moves attendees make. You can determine how they came, what they did, where they went, with whom they chatted, what they tweeted, which videos they watched, and so much more. By knowing the number of attendees who viewed and/or downloaded a piece of collateral, you can adapt your future content to suit these valuable leads.

Delegate PLAY’s live audience tracking in terms of demographic factors, activities, engagement levels, participation rates, etc., enables businesses to make the most of their big data. We are able to extract valuable insights to improve their virtual events through customization and integrating personalized experience. 

The Future of Events

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Virtual and digital experiences being developed and applied during the pandemic are going to be in demand even post-pandemic. Everything from the virtual trade show experience to virtual meetings and webinars will remain, as these creative strategies have now proven to increase web traffic and sales. Much of the data and insights available now point to late 2021 or 2022 for a return of big in-person conferences. Even small-scale conferences will rise higher in number in 2021, leaving huge space for virtual events to keep filling the gaps. 

When bigger face-to-face events return, we will witness the development of hybrid events that provide a mix of live in-person and virtual offerings. This blend can eventually play up the true perks that just come with meeting in person, while also using the more flexible benefits extracted from the virtual aspects.

Delegate PLAY – Putting Uncertainty to an End 

Delegate PLAY is a fully immersive virtual platform to host events and build connections, accommodating advanced tech features like virtual fairgrounds setup, real-time audience participation, compatibility to access the events from all devices, and live audience engagement tracking. 

Delegate PLAY is geared towards optimizing your events ROI with exceptional virtual events, after realizing that virtual conference and trade shows are here to stay. 

Interested in hosting your own customised virtual event? Delegate PLAY is a fully immersive virtual environment that allows users to host online conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, and job fairs all under one platform. You can read more about it here.

We’d love to help make your virtual event a smashing success. For more information or a demo of Delegate PLAY, feel free to contact us via the form below. We promise to get in touch with you in a jiffy.

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